Saturday, October 31, 2015

Saturday: Halloween

I decided to get the spookiest of foods for lunch:
Curry.  Why is it the spookiest?  Because I wanted curry, and today's Halloween.  QED.

The guy who sat down at the curry counter before me clearly didn't understand how sitting at a counter works.  The filled-seat array was [1, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, Dirty].  He sat down, making it [1, 1, 0, 0, 1, 0, Dirty].  This is obviously an inferior arrangement, as when I sit down, this becomes [1, 1, 0, 0, 1, Me, Dirty], since I'm not going to stand around while there are open seats until they can clean the seat.  It's not like he didn't see me coming, as we entered at the same time.

Today's the last day of Drawlloween, with the theme of "Dragon."  I went with the Trogdor method.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday: Thank fuck it's Friday.

The pizza place by work is open again.  It's being run by the people who run the Mexican place and the wing place that are in the same building.  I wonder if the change in management means that the pizza people who used to work there are gone.

The pizza is pretty much the same, although they're using super thick corrugated boxes now.  They also overcooked the pepperoni/mushroom pizza they had today.
And I spent most of the day fixing code that I'm fairly sure has never worked, based on the number of typos I had to fix.

Today was the last of the cider.  I still have a bunch of cups, so depending on if they have cider next week, I may make an extension of cider/doughnut week.

And then I did Drawlloween:
The theme of which was "spider."
But when I went to take the standard picture of it, I couldn't find my phone.  Not on top of the couch like it usually is, not in any of the cracks of the couch, not dropped on the floor.  So I go to the android phone finder thing, and tell it to ring my phone.  Which, despite the claim of "this will loudly ring your phone for five minutes," I get one lame "doodly doodly doo" which I can confidently place to "around the couch somewhere."  It doesn't help that the trades are gone, so it's a million degrees in my apartment without my fan on.  Which, of course, I can't run while listening for my phone.  So after clicking the ring button a thousand times, I finally narrow it down to "my phone has to have slipped through the effectively zero size gap between the couch and the wall and is now under the couch.  Pull the stupid thing out, and yes, there's my phone sitting there.  It's not hurt any from falling, which is good.

  • Here's the thing, most content on the internet is commoditized: one unit of content is effectively equivalent to another unit of content.  There is also effectively an infinite amount of internet content.  Therefore, the nominal price for a unit of internet content is zero.  Claiming "ad-blocking hurts people, so that's why we need a subscription service" isn't really accurate.  Ads are annoying, and after watching an unskippable 30-second ad that played before a 15-second youtube video, blocking all ads indiscriminately seems like the best solution.  If ad tech hadn't ruined any chance of being seen as anything but time leeches, they might have a point.  They don't though.  "But what about people who make their living making youtube videos?"  A lot of those people probably shouldn't be doing that.  A number of the people I watch have real jobs, and the youtube thing is a side project.  I bought a subscription to one group who consistently makes good content.  When I get around to doing so, I plan on organizing patreon subscriptions for a number of others, which I think is the kind of scheme youtube should have pioneered for their creators:  buy a subscription at the $X/month level, and then allocate those funds to the channels you like.  However, given that with this red service, yt plans to take (as they do with advertising) something like 40% off the top, eight times larger than the 5% quoted for patreon.  This seems like a far better use of money.
    • This is technically an expansion of the commodity point:  after discovering the feature, I now watch almost all of my youtube videos on double speed.
  • I was thinking something similar to this while driving home when Marketplace mentioned that something like six billion dollars will be spent on Halloween this year.
  • However, this costume is brilliant.
  • "But the company said that on that front, the “just” pertains to how it manufactures its products, reducing land use, water use, and carbon emissions while creating an allergy-free product."  Can the FDA fine a company for being insufferable douchebags?
  • Hayley Atwell.
  • This bird sings the Tototo theme.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Thursday: I don't have much to talk about today.

It was a boring day, I guess.
I set up my new UPS.  This one has a more detailed display.  I'm also nowhere near the maximum capacity, so I have a decent amount of time to shut things down.  Last time we had a real power outage, I think I had something like five minutes.

Cider/doughnut time was normal.

Today's Drawlloween was "scarecrow", or "all the browns and oranges."

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Wednesday: Fuck Best Buy, too.

I spent part of the day today learning that no one ships UPSes to Hawaii.  Amazon doesn't, Dell doesn't, I gave up, but checking now it seems that Newegg does, but it costs $60 in shipping alone.

Since I came in to find my computer off again this morning, it seemed like wasting more time haggling over shipping could be better spent just buying a new UPS locally.  BB had a reasonable replacement in stock, so I went there after work, and after spiraling through their poorly designed store, located the UPS and surge protector section (oddly enough located in the center of the store, and went to checkout with the goal of price-matching it against their webpage.

I don't know why they don't just match the prices automatically, since the only implication is that they knowingly charge more when they think they can, because people are unlikely to do the price matching.  This seems like a corollary to my previous retail management rant.

I also have a complaint about the staffing at BB this evening.  Based on people I encountered spiraling the store, BB is staffed by:

  • That big guy at the door who's there to stop you from stealing.
  • Customer service has two people.
  • Geek Squad has three.
  • Generic service has one.
  • The Apple section has one.
  • There are three roving agents in computer and parts.
  • There is no one in the movies/music section.  No employees, no customers.  It is a barren waste.
  • Appliances has one guy leaning against large appliances.
  • Cell phones have four people who were constantly setting up phones for people.  Do people do that?  Go to BB to get new cell phone service?
  • One person running the register.
Looking at this, as I'm standing in line with a 25 pound UPS in my arms, the only conclusions I can make are:
  1. Best Buy is not currently in the business of selling things.
  2. Except maybe phones.
  3. They will attempt to fix the tech things you bring in, but they're fully aware that you probably bought that laptop online.
  4. Based on the sampling of people in line with me, most people really just need a USB thumb drive or a slightly odd battery.
Kind of a fall from the time back in undergrad where a trip to BB signaled that new movies and music were soon to arrive, or that a computer would obtain upgrades to make it effectively twice as good.

Anyway, this all started about UPS, so the UPS cartoon:

Now, Drawlloweens.

I thought about coloring it, but I'm concerned it'd ruin it.  Maybe once Drawlloween is over, and I switch over to Art-Nouvember and my coloring book, I'll try some colored pencils instead of crayons.  I had originally thought about drawing Hermione (who was born ten days before I was), but decided that would be hard to get all the proportions right.  Instead, I went with McGonagal, with this image as the reference.  I wanted to get that green color, but crayons would make it too messy.

For today's:

"Black Cat"
This one I went through two sketch attempts before giving up and going with the stick-figure solution.  The joke was to be a drawing of Black Cat, the Marvel comic character who is sometimes a bad guy, and sometimes dates Spider-Man.  She's got a ridiculous costume, but when I went to get a reference shot, it turns out 99% of her art is a bit more porn-y than I'm willing to badly copy.  There's a cartoon version of her (from the recent, not 1990s S-M cartoon), which is better costumed and proportioned, but I couldn't find a decent reference image

Then I thought about her appearance in the Howard the Duck trade I got recently, but the flashback image:
Is going to look bad after I attempt it.
So maybe go with her other appearance in that issue?
But then it would have been confusing, because she's wearing a green coat that almost makes her look like McGonagall.  Also this isn't the silly costume with the white fringe everywhere which was the point.
So scribble scribble crayon black cat.

In other news:
Afternoon cider and doughnuts is the best idea I've ever had.

My pizza place is going to be under new management.  With an "expanded menu."  Can I hope for calzones?  I also hope that the pizza-teers who worked there will still be there.  I like them.
I did get my windshield wipers installed.  The solution was:
  1. Wedge a screwdriver into the gap to pry a plastic clip up and out.
  2. Jam the old wiper down while holding the clip down.
  3. Repeat until the wiper comes off and the stupid clip thing jumps out of your hands onto the floor.
  4. Do the same for the other wiper.
  5. Call the old wipers "fucking bullshit rain monkeys" in frustration.
  6. Get out new wipers.  Ignore all instructions suggesting needing to slide off outside fairing.
  7. Open snap clip at the front of the new wiper.
  8. Slide J wiper bar into the gap opened by the snap-clip.
  9. Snap-clip closed, and remove the wiper condom.
  10. Repeat for other wiper.
  11. Call new wipers "more fucking bullshit."
  12. Get in the car, and realize that the old passenger wiper was a 24 inch, and the new one is a 22 inch.
  13. Declare "fuck it" and decide that losing that one inch isn't worth the hassle, although it does make me question wiper manufacturers even more if their online widget isn't consistent.

Finally, linkstorm:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tuesday: Arg.

I am way behind on my evening internets, but earlier today Julie reminded me about cider, and I decided to take a trip during lunch to see if I could get cider at the Safeway by work.

I could.  Also: doughnuts go with cider.

But first I had to eat lunch.  Don't worry, though.  I had cider with lunch.
 And then wait until it was reasonable for a snack.
Powdered and nut?  Cinnamon sugar would be the right choice, but this was the closest I could get.
Then after work I decided to go to Target so I could get new windshield wipers and headlight fluid:

I'm not sure if this is intentional or not, but it was like then when I got there.

That's also an accurate representation of me after trying to replace my wipers.  In any case, I still have the old ones on my car, because fuck the assholes who decided you need to squeeze, pull, and twist shit in just the right way to both install and prepare wipers.  I'll sort it out tomorrow when I'm not trying to sort it out in poorly lit parking garages.

And I'll do today's Drawlloween tomorrow.  Which sucks, because I was planning on tomorrow's being difficult to draw.

  • Today's Agents of Shield wasn't bad, since they did clear up a lot of the cryptic bullshit.  Not all of it, what with "random ghost baddie" and all.  Also, next week's episode is going to be stupid, since it's another Shield vs. Shit-Hydra thing.
  • I saw this while looking up the av club AoS review.  I disagree with their assessment of Silent Hill 2, and Harry's boringness is explicitly parodied in the UFO ending.  But Heather is the best character, and SH3 is probably the best, and not just for this.
  • Dog joke.
  • This is the cider place I think we went in grad school.  This completes the cider theme for today.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday: I was remarkably productive for having half the day stolen by meetings and appointments.

My regular pizza place wasn't open when I finally got around to lunch.  It looked like something flooded the store.  I hope they get it fixed soon, because I had to go to the other pizza place to get dinner, and it's not as good.

Even though I thought it premiered weeks ago, the new Supergirl show didn't start until today.  I was not expecting Dean Cain to be starring as Kara's dad.  I also want to point out that naming her Kara Danvers instead of Linda Danvers makes it very close to Carol Danvers, who was Captain Marvel, but not that Captain Marvel.  Also: her sister works for Hank Henshaw?  Really?  Why even bother giving us other villains when you just introduce the guy who will become Cyborg Superman?  Also, in another "Marvel and DC can't stop stealing from each other," in addition to the ones linked above, Hank Henshaw's origin story is basically a What-If story of the Fantastic Four's origin, but where everyone dies instead of getting fancy super powers.

Today's Drawlloween is "rat."

I went with the recent popularity and made it a pizza rat.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sunday: So, it turns out...

There was a big moth in the parking garage today.  Just kind of sitting on the floor.  This is a bad plan, Mr. Moth.
Anyway, yesterday when I was sitting at the Greek place, being unhappy about La Tour Cafe being impossible to park at now, I did a search, and google was all, "Do you want directions to La Tour Cafe 3.2 miles away?"

"Go home, google, you're drunk.  La Tour Cafe is like 12 miles away."

"No, I'm pretty sure a new one just opened up in Aina Haina, by the Foodland you usually stop at when you're way out on the east side."

It turns out that it opened up less than a month ago, and is actually pretty easy to get to and there is infinite parking there as well.  They didn't put cheese in my soup, but everything else was the same.

Including both my soup and sandwich being on fire and burning my tongue.
 A lot of the reviews I've seen were all "there are only four tables, and then a big giant communal table, and that sucks."
But when you go in the middle of the afternoon, you can get the big table all to yourself.  This picture came out better than expected.
 I got a take home sandwich for dinner as well:
Italian.  Not quite what I was hoping for.  Not bad, just not what I wanted it to taste like.

Today's Drawlloween is "mummy."

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Saturday: Complaining about things.

I tried to go to La Tour Cafe again.  I again failed, because it's not possible to park there anymore.  Part of this is due to the fact that everyone is a fucking moron, and is flooding to Party City to buy shit for Halloween.  I don't really understand the point of buying useless shit that's going to be thrown away, but I'm also not the kind of person who coordinates the purchase of ketchup and mustard costumes with their friend, and then wears their shitty costumes out of the store.  I hope that if I ever do become that kind of person, someone kills me.

The other reason parking is impossible is that the Securitas office there has decided that they deserve like a dozen reserved parking spaces, probably because they're power-tripping shit bags.  "Why so angry about people who do the important job of using their walky-talky to report people not lining up correctly?"  Because there are three spaces that are labeled "Securitas Manager Only."  Fuck you, asshole.  You need all these parking spaces on the weekend?  Go fuck yourself.

So I drove out to the Greek place:


The marina was cool looking today.

Second thing to complain about: hugin is broken now.  My best guess is that it's either a serious programming bug somewhere, or someone on that team decided it was best to make hugin guess at things, and because of that, it doesn't work correctly anymore.  The smudge is where it's completely ignored my third image, and the bit on the right is actually the other half of the image on the left.  I don't know why it's over there, and there are no control points connecting that to the right side.  So: unusably broken, so I guess I'm not making panoramas anymore.

I used the same reference for the skull.  Today's Drawlloween is "skeleton."

Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday: I'm starting to think about a new main computer.

I should probably wait a bit, since I just bought a new laptop, but I'm thinking I should be able to get something far better than what I have now for something in the $1k range, most of which is going to go to disk space.  The main complication is that I'm thinking that instead of buying a big powerful computer, I'm thinking about a small cluster of mini-ITX.  My current thinking is to get two storage nodes that have their disks connected into a single (replicated) large gluster array.  This would allow me to copy all my current disks into that array, without having to worry about losing data.  Putting the disks into a RAID would probably be a better idea, but I'm not completely sure how robust gluster is.  The benefit of this kind of cluster arrangement is that in the future I can simply replace nodes.  The mini-ITX boards are also far more energy efficient, so I'd probably reduce my power consumption.

I'm also thinking about adding two processing nodes as well, one of which would be the main front end and web/CVS/database server, with the backup processing node available for mythtv processing as well as hosting a database server slave.  The other things this setup would need is an actual router on the network, as well as one of these stand-alone tuners to do the DVR capture.

The other good aspect of this plan is that with one massive storage volume containing all of my current disks, I can sit down and do some sort of structuring of my data, so I don't need to hunt and `find . -name '*crap*'` so much.  It'd be fairly easy to set up some sort of rsync on my laptop as well, so all that data would be automatically added.

Remember this juice bear?  I learned yesterday that the farm is an actual place you can go visit.

There are a lot of flower types in the candy I bought yesterday.
 I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to draw today's Drawlloween.

"Gore."  I'm glad I remembered synonyms.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thursday: I accomplished things at work, even though I spent far too much time wondering what the point of the horribly obfuscated code was.

I have a running theory that people who are actual computer programmers make their code intentionally impossible to maintain, because they see this as a way towards job security.  Most of the scientist-programmers make things work in a generally simple way that doesn't use a million redirections or API layers.  There are exceptions to both sets, but this seems to generally hold true.

Remember last week when I mentioned the farmer's market by work has a pop-up Indian place?  I finally tried it today:
Chicken saag and chana masala with rice.
Yeah.  Turns out I probably won't be going back.  They claimed to have a chicken curry, but that was a lie, so I ended up with the chana.  I'm not a big fan of that.  Also: no naan.  Kind of bland as well, which is kind of not what Indian is known for.  I guess I will just wish that instead of Subway, we had a Masala Wok.

Then I saw one of the stray kitties while leaving work.
Since lunch was disappointing, and I was super hungry by the end of the day, I decided to get pancakes for dinner.

Chocolate chip pancakes.

Also a pork chop.

Today's Drawlloween theme is candy.
Which is convenient, since getting pancakes for dinner means going to Nijiya Market to pick up Japanese snack foods.

Did you know that they make individually wrapped Takenoko no Seto and Kinoko no Yama?  Neither did I.  This is apparently for trick or treaters.  Or me.  For me.  Also, I'm glad that TのS and KのY can get along enough to have a shared package.

Remember these candies that I didn't take any pictures of from that sushi restaurant in Alameda?  Yeah, so now I have a bag to put into my candy dish at the office.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wednesday: I am starting this post at work so I remember to discuss why never to use ($x =~ /string/) when ($x eq 'string') is correct.

The main reason is that later, when you add "stageX_bonus_stuff", it doesn't get matched to the old "stage_X" cases.  While we're on the topic:  there's a reason there's an "else if" or "elsif" conditional.  If you simply string a bunch of "if" statements after each other, you can potentially have multiple matches, resulting in similar kinds of bugs.

Today's "Let's pretend I Drawlloweened": "8-bit zombie."  Whatever.  This is a legitimate 8-bit zombie from this game.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tuesday: Grump.

Today was crappy.  I had to wake up early due to the building shutting water off for some repair.  I spent all day pounding against poorly designed code.  I had to restore my DVR/RSS database from backups.  Again.  Grump.

It was new candy day at work.

New candies.
I wasn't sure what to expect, but kind of assumed it was grape/orange/cherry fruit candies.  Looking it up, it's apparently grape/orange/cola "pop" candy.  It has a fizzy pop-rocks thing happening.

The bright point of the day was pastrami based.

And today's Drawlloween theme was "skull."  I didn't want to sort out a bunch of anatomy, so I remembered a post, and went with the "Usagi being electrocuted" anime-style skull.
I'm also even more like I was last week about Agents of Shield than I was last week.  This episode spent too much time showing how the special agency in charge of stopping alien invasions and mutant revolutions tracked down a shitty criminal, and then fucked that up because getting rid of the stupid villain would mean having to write stories that used bigger budget villains.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Monday: Ugh. Monday.

I did discover today that I need to take two more days of vacation, in addition to all the vacation scheduled for the end of the year, otherwise I lose two days of vacation this year.  So once the travel people finalize my Christmas/NYE/conference travel, I'll look into Thanksgiving as well.

I wish there was a manual option to set focus to infinity.  That would make taking pictures of the half moon far easier.

Fuck today's Drawlloween:
Creature from the Black Lagoon?  That's a shitty movie.

  • I mean what's his goal?  "Be a dick"?  Why does he want the girl?  She's not going to be compatible.  Also picture three there:  why doesn't the script read "KAY: BEATS THE FUCK OUT OF THE CREATURE BY POUNDING HER KNEE INTO HIS STUPID FLAPPY FISH FACE."
  • All of this.  I'm glad I finally found qmmp, as that does what I expect from my music player:  assume I've sorted things correctly by directory, and recurses sanely.  I can understand having database keys on song title and artist, but the album is the natural grouping, not anything else.
  • Luckily, the decade long disaster that was the Stephen Harper government is now ended.
  • Huh.  I wonder where this asteroid was discovered?
  • Hey!  Want to read a really sad comic?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sunday: At least I got ramen today.

I went with the modified original order. Set C with Kotteri, which brings three chicken karaage.  A side of four gyoza completes the "ramen is better with gyoza" truism.  This is then too much food for lunch, but you have take out karaage and cabbage for a dinner/snack later.  For some reason, the new mosaic code on my new laptop had more problems with this than me just running it on my old laptop.  One more thing to debug.
Today's Drawlloween theme was "Mask."  I thought of doing a number of different things, and decided to stick with the mask that clearly was the best at concealing an identity.  I didn't add any roses, as those are hard to draw.